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Lakewood IT Case Study

Lakewood IT Case Study

Project Overview:

The owner of Lakewood IT wants to create an IT service department as one of their product offerings.  This service department may exist at multiple, company locations and, possibly, in multiple buildings at the same location.  Management needs to determine whether we are suited to expand into this new specialty within six (6) months.  Currently, we have two customer-facing departments: IT Hardware/Software Sales and IT Parts.  If we choose to create a service department, this will add a third customer-facing department to Lakewood IT.  No longer will we need to refer customers to outside repair service companies.  We will be able to sell new IT hardware/software, sell replacement parts, and service the hardware/software. Truly, we will be a one-stop shop for all home IT needs!

As I think about it, I probably did not give you enough information about this proposed service department.  The service department will have both virtual and live technicians to fix the customer’s IT issues.  This will require people to set up the home service appointments, technicians to assess, estimate, and fix the hardware/software, and coordinate with parts department to get the necessary parts for repair. The parts department may need to change their inventory and ordering process to accommodate the larger volume of parts needed with the new service department.

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Interview Results:

As our new systems analyst, we need your help with some organizational and industry research.  You will need to perform a SWOT analysis to assess whether this new service specialty will be an appropriate strategy for us long term.

Interviews were conducted by Lakewood IT about IT service operations.  Three interviewees allowed their responses to be published proved they remained anonymous.  Here are excerpts from their interviews.

Interviewee 1 said:

“Successful IT service departments really have effective managers and management.  This enables the entire department to maintain strong relationships with other departments and customers.  Unfortunately, there are perceptions about tier 1 technicians lacking the skills, knowledge, experience, and training to solve problems.  In addition, a major detriment to operational success seemed to come from an inefficient use of staff resources and the inability to properly quantify and qualify work”.

“IT service departments will always face challenges or constraints such as restrictions on staffing levels causing or contribution to the inability to meet performance objectives (SLAs).  Finally, there may be lack of executive support, not because the department is ineffective, but because the bottom-line sometimes drives business decisions”.

Interviewee 2 commented:

“Unsuccessful service operations seemed to be missing the optimal structure for performing service tasks.  However, this negative aspect could be mitigated by adopting a service management framework and/or improving diversity of knowledge and skills of the technicians”.

“Let me not dwell on the negative. I have also been involved in operations that were turned around by hiring skilled tier 1, 2, and 3 technicians while also investigating the potential to automate certain tasks and functions”.

Interviewee 3 stated:

“Management and technicians, regardless of level, must be perceived as courteous and accurate rather than showing indifference to problems.  Further, the learning process should never stop because there is always a need to improve your diversity of knowledge and skills, which, ultimately, may improve the customer’s experience”.

“In this age of automation, artificial intelligence, and financial scrutiny, IT service operations must continually justify their existence as a profit center to minimize discussions about outsourcing and possible decentralization”.

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You will review the Lakewood IT casePreview the document and the Interview Results documentPreview the document for this part of your Business Case Analysis and provide, as the minimum, the following:

  • A title page
  • An introduction
  • A problem statement
    • A single sentence containing a clearly defined problem statement
  • A section containing a SWOT analysis
    • You must use the SWOT templatePreview the document; however, the template may be adjusted (i.e., cell height & width) as needed
    • A summary of the SWOT analysis

The paper must not exceed 5 pages of content (the title page, abstract [if required], reference pages,  figures/tables, and appendices are not content pages).  In addition, the paper must use:

  • Times New Roman, 12 pt font/typeset
  • Double spaced lines
  • The APA Manual, 7th edition’s title page, header, margins, figure, table, and heading formatting
  • The APA Manual, 7th edition’s writing mechanic guidelines